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Old 06-10-2019, 03:10 PM   #41
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Too much "Rocket Science" for me and my non technical electronic brain to comprehend, but it really looks impressive from what you've posted kazetsukai!
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:52 PM   #42
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it need to be as clean and simple as possible IMO - inspiring nonetheless

I keep looking for challenges like this myself
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:39 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
Just ran into a roadblock... you need inline resistors to sense buttons with the Arduino/Pi pinouts. I'm just going to have the Pi read from a DIY joystick interface for the time being (all it requires is the button connection), what a pain in the behind.


Unless... someone knows of a clean way to wire these resistors inline at the button. I don't want breadboards everywhere in my control box.



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XCTT1J
Hmm... I thought the Arduino digital inputs already had a pull-up resister on each for just this situation?

I am very interested in your automation and electrical setup. I'm still in the demo stage of my build but am looking forward to my own automation system, and I'd love to see how someone else made something like this work. Did you do anything special with your LED lighting? I mean did you make them dimmable or are they solely on/off? I'm trying to make my system match my dreams without making it fragile.

I'm especially interested in your 220v setup, as I am seriously contemplating a two-zone mini-split (maybe around 21k BTU). Any information I can get on that would be appreciated.

-S
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:17 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by synestine View Post
Hmm... I thought the Arduino digital inputs already had a pull-up resister on each for just this situation?
You have to wire through another pin (the resistor) for this to work. I think the joystick solution is easier, although arguably more "fragile".

Quote:
Originally Posted by synestine View Post
I am very interested in your automation and electrical setup. I'm still in the demo stage of my build but am looking forward to my own automation system, and I'd love to see how someone else made something like this work.
Its not yet working, mind you. There's no real reason it wouldn't work as I intend it, and I've been testing the components over a long period of time, so I should have some things of reference.

Let me know if you'd like to collaborate or share source code on GitHub. The stuff I'm doing should be generic enough for others to use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synestine View Post
Did you do anything special with your LED lighting? I mean did you make them dimmable or are they solely on/off? I'm trying to make my system match my dreams without making it fragile.
I did do two things you could consider "special", at least for wiring lights in a tiny house/house/bus-
  1. I ran the power wires from the lights _directly_ to the automation box, not inline with any switches or controls.
  2. I use momentary push buttons instead of switches.
I did consider dimming functionality, and I would like it at some point. For now, I'm going for ON/OFF and using both groups (lights hard wired together) and zones (lights not wired together but colocated and intended to be controlled with the same button)- one local button press cycles a zone through different configurations, and that automation can turn lights on/off without worrying about a physical switch and its current state. Zoning is a good way to achieve light level control without the complexities of dimming.

My biggest "group" of lights is the walkway down the middle. The entire front to back I have staggered lights that are all linked together, this was done on purpose to make a "non fragile" / manually controllable zone that would work either from the solar electrical system or the bus electrical system, and be our backup lighting in case something went wrong with the solar.

Aside from that, the largest groups are 2-4 lights. With something 38+ lights in the ceiling, this means I have around 10-15 runs of wire, just from lights, going all the way back to the panel. You'll need space to do something like that.

Either way, since I wired the lights the way I did, if I find a good way to do dimming (which I intend to do), I will not have to rewire much. I can just add the dimming hardware to the control box and move the appropriate wire to the dimmer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synestine View Post
I'm especially interested in your 220v setup, as I am seriously contemplating a two-zone mini-split (maybe around 21k BTU). Any information I can get on that would be appreciated.
So first up, you don't necessarily need 220v for a mini split. Maybe two-zones require it, but you could also use two small, 110v mini splits. You may only need one on most days, as well.

Two, if you want to do anything significant with 220v off of batteries (shore power is simple) like I am, those batteries need to be enough to push the required amperage. A mere 10A * 220V = 2200W. 2200W @ 12V is 183A. 2200W @ 24V is 91A. 2200W @ 48V is 45A, and so on. On a 12V system, you'll simply destroy any kind of AGM/lead acid battery array that isn't prohibitively large and heavy. Plan for lithium.

I went with Tesla batteries, which _each_ at 24V will push 250A without any cooling, and upwards of 1000A when water cooled. They're also cheap, but have drawbacks. One, I say 24V, but they're on the "lower" 24V spectrum. They're each a total of 444 18650-like lithium cells in 6s74p configuration, which brings their voltage range from 19V to 25.2V. The 24V range for AGM/Lead Acid is 21V-28V, which means you have to carefully select charging equipment, and as your voltage is on average lower you'll be pushing more amps. More amps = larger wires and waste.

I can't stress enough that without the right batteries any venture into high current AC (beyond 2000W draw) will be completely fruitless, and probably dangerous. I'll post info about my inverter later today.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:39 AM   #45
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Wow... And here I thought I was pretty much done with physics once I'd earned my degree!
Silly me...
Thanx for the comprehensive article. I'm really looking forward to the updates and status reports.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:12 PM   #46
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For my inverter, I use a PowerJack 24V / 8000w 8.0 ATS Split Phase Inverter.
IMG_0472.jpg

For those that don't know, a "split phase inverter" is much like having two inverters of half the rating. Since mine is 8000w, I have two, 4000w "legs", each 180 degrees out of phase. This means I can run two different runs of 110V, for a max of 4000w on each, or combine each leg to get 220V with the full 8000w of power. This is exactly like you'd expect from shore power and so you can wire your AC in the exact same fashion. L1 + N = 110V. L2 + N = 110V. L1+L2 = 220V AC.
split.gif

Immediately, some people are going to, rightfully, think: "PowerJack"? Not the typical brand name. There's a little story there...
pj.png

For the longest time I was set on the AIMS 6000w for its split phase (120v & 220v) function. That inverter on Amazon:
aims.png

That's pretty frustrating, because I'll often run into a choice during my bus build: "What next?" I could get another battery for that price. Or nearly 2kw of panels. Or some 60 hours of paid help.

I was at a point where I needed to install AC electrical and had no backing infrastructure. I also had no significant loads to test my battery. The price was tempting but my instincts said no.

But then rational thought kicked in and said, hey- if that inverter does just 2000w on each leg- of half its stated rating, it will be worth every last penny I paid and will have saved me money. The AIMS 6k would be 3kw per leg, so a 2kw test load would be 60% the capacity of my desired equipment at a little over 35% the price.

I held my nose, I pulled the trigger, it showed up, I tested it. At first, any loads and it would complain about low voltage. So I looked for documentation... and found there was an adjustable low voltage alarm setting (I think bottoms out at 20v). Problem solved. I ran a vacuum cleaner. 900w-1300w on one leg, off my battery, the cables weren't getting hot and the inverter would intermittently spin up the fans.

So I installed it in my bus.
IMG_0473.jpg

The top four wires are output (top/bottom: Ground, L1, N, L2) and go to my AC panel.
IMG_0475.jpgIMG_0476.jpg

The bottom four (L1, N, L2, Ground) goes to my external AC "inlet":
IMG_0482.jpg

Once I have more than one battery (effectively limited to 250A by the main battery breaker, which at 24V is around 6000W), I'm going to use this connection to test backfeeding into my house, running central air, the well pump, or in isolation, the dryer load- to really put the unit to the test. If its not enough to do the dryer, I'll probably buy PowerJack's 15000W unit, meant for whole-house power. I'm hoping that's overkill, as I'll be well in my safe zone if I can get 3kw per leg on this 8kw unit.

And that's some info on my AC system/inverter, let me know if you have any questions.
IMG_0481.jpg
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:47 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
For my inverter, I use a PowerJack 24V / 8000w 8.0 ATS Split Phase Inverter.
Attachment 34496

For those that don't know, a "split phase inverter" is much like having two inverters of half the rating. Since mine is 8000w, I have two, 4000w "legs", each 180 degrees out of phase. This means I can run two different runs of 110V, for a max of 4000w on each, or combine each leg to get 220V with the full 8000w of power. This is exactly like you'd expect from shore power and so you can wire your AC in the exact same fashion. L1 + N = 110V. L2 + N = 110V. L1+L2 = 220V AC.
Attachment 34501

Immediately, some people are going to, rightfully, think: "PowerJack"? Not the typical brand name. There's a little story there...
Attachment 34499

For the longest time I was set on the AIMS 6000w for its split phase (120v & 220v) function. That inverter on Amazon:
Attachment 34500

That's pretty frustrating, because I'll often run into a choice during my bus build: "What next?" I could get another battery for that price. Or nearly 2kw of panels. Or some 60 hours of paid help.

I was at a point where I needed to install AC electrical and had no backing infrastructure. I also had no significant loads to test my battery. The price was tempting but my instincts said no.

But then rational thought kicked in and said, hey- if that inverter does just 2000w on each leg- of half its stated rating, it will be worth every last penny I paid and will have saved me money. The AIMS 6k would be 3kw per leg, so a 2kw test load would be 60% the capacity of my desired equipment at a little over 35% the price.

I held my nose, I pulled the trigger, it showed up, I tested it. At first, any loads and it would complain about low voltage. So I looked for documentation... and found there was an adjustable low voltage alarm setting (I think bottoms out at 20v). Problem solved. I ran a vacuum cleaner. 900w-1300w on one leg, off my battery, the cables weren't getting hot and the inverter would intermittently spin up the fans.

So I installed it in my bus.
Attachment 34495

The top four wires are output (top/bottom: Ground, L1, N, L2) and go to my AC panel.
Attachment 34494Attachment 34493

The bottom four (L1, N, L2, Ground) goes to my external AC "inlet":
Attachment 34498

Once I have more than one battery (effectively limited to 250A by the main battery breaker, which at 24V is around 6000W), I'm going to use this connection to test backfeeding into my house, running central air, the well pump, or in isolation, the dryer load- to really put the unit to the test. If its not enough to do the dryer, I'll probably buy PowerJack's 15000W unit, meant for whole-house power. I'm hoping that's overkill, as I'll be well in my safe zone if I can get 3kw per leg on this 8kw unit.

And that's some info on my AC system/inverter, let me know if you have any questions.
Attachment 34497
——://
I just saw your project... Totally STUNNING! Please tell me, more than just one person -you- worked on this masterpiece. And if it was only you, I’m sure by now, you’ve figured a way to clone yourself.

Is your background in VR?

What materials did you use for your wet bathroom/shower? How long did all this take?

Stunning, simply stunning!!!
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:07 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dèsirée View Post
——://
I just saw your project... Totally STUNNING! Please tell me, more than just one person -you- worked on this masterpiece. And if it was only you, I’m sure by now, you’ve figured a way to clone yourself.
Me, my girlfriend, and we've hired some contract help for the carpentry. I'm good at technical stuff/functional design, not making things look nice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dèsirée View Post
Is your background in VR?
Not sure what this means?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dèsirée View Post
What materials did you use for your wet bathroom/shower?
I don't have a wet bathroom, I have a walk-through shower separate from the bathroom on my way to the rear/kitchen, underneath the rear hatch-now-skylight. It'll use a custom copper or stainless steel shower pan (42" x 42"- quite large) with a drain in each corner to negate drainage problems on uneven terrain. For the walls, shiplap with epoxy to seal.

The bathroom, I'm using shiplap like the rest of the bus, with vinyl flooring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dèsirée View Post
How long did all this take?
Bought this bus omewhere around June of 2017 from a member on this forum. The seats were already removed and it was a very basic conversion already in use by someone living on their property temporarily. They offered to deliver it to me in NH from OR, driving it cross-country, for $2k. For $6k I had a guaranteed low rust, mechanically proven rig. While more than what many might pay here, and not exactly the best engine/transmission, the guarantees were worth it.

Hoping some forum member here might help us find the next one with 84 passenger, a DT466 and a 3060 for use in a couple years. This rig will be living space for a couple years, but I'm planning to expand the family, so....
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:47 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
Me, my girlfriend, and we've hired some contract help for the carpentry. I'm good at technical stuff/functional design, not making things look nice.


Not sure what this means?

I don't have a wet bathroom, I have a walk-through shower separate from the bathroom on my way to the rear/kitchen, underneath the rear hatch-now-skylight. It'll use a custom copper or stainless steel shower pan (42" x 42"- quite large) with a drain in each corner to negate drainage problems on uneven terrain. For the walls, shiplap with epoxy to seal.

The bathroom, I'm using shiplap like the rest of the bus, with vinyl flooring.

Bought this bus omewhere around June of 2017 from a member on this forum. The seats were already removed and it was a very basic conversion already in use by someone living on their property temporarily. They offered to deliver it to me in NH from OR, driving it cross-country, for $2k. For $6k I had a guaranteed low rust, mechanically proven rig. While more than what many might pay here, and not exactly the best engine/transmission, the guarantees were worth it.

Hoping some forum member here might help us find the next one with 84 passenger, a DT466 and a 3060 for use in a couple years. This rig will be living space for a couple years, but I'm planning to expand the family, so....
—-///
VR-virtual reality. I thought perhaps you were an AI engineer. You sound like one from the structural side. And the very first thing that came to mind was an incubator.... building a VR incubator.. for travel and capture.

Well, you surely have done a stunning job!!! Congratulations to you and your girlfriend!!!
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:30 PM   #50
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Tanks for the LED offer.
(Drat! Can't find the description I PM'd, regarding which is which. Hopefully the pix will clarify the measurements I sent)20190614_161251.jpeg20190614_161603.jpeg
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:35 PM   #51
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Tanks for the LED offer.

Looks good. I think that'll work, let me do some measurements to make sure.


I got the lights off today. Made some sheet metal cutouts that would cover the holes up, and added electrical sealant around the edges.

IMG_0493.jpgIMG_0494.jpg


Screwed 'em in the same place as the lights in case things change.
IMG_0496.jpg


I think it looks as good as it'll get, I just wish I could have kept 'em.
IMG_0495.jpgIMG_0497.jpg
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:59 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
Looks good. I think that'll work, let me do some measurements to make sure.


I got the lights off today. Made some sheet metal cutouts that would cover the holes up, and added electrical sealant around the edges.

Attachment 34593Attachment 34592


Screwed 'em in the same place as the lights in case things change.
Attachment 34591


I think it looks as good as it'll get, I just wish I could have kept 'em.
Attachment 34590Attachment 34589
We've been driving around with the clear rear lenses installed and have been passed by a few staties and town cops. No issue. I figure I'll remove them for the 'salvage/MH' inspection then slip them back on at some point. I don't plan to re-use the front warning lights so I'll keep them blanked out.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:14 AM   #53
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We've been driving around with the clear rear lenses installed and have been passed by a few staties and town cops. No issue.
This is the problem, the inconsistency. The inspector's interpretation is obviously different from the staties'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
I figure I'll remove them for the 'salvage/MH' inspection then slip them back on at some point. I don't plan to re-use the front warning lights so I'll keep them blanked out.
My next inspection is Monday next week, I'll let you know how that goes. If I get the same inspector, it should be open/shut. I'm even doing some stuff he mentioned was optional (rear fenders, trying to fix the rear bumper).


If I get a different inspector and fail again for different reasons, ugh. I don't know what I'll do. That would be pretty frustrating.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:46 PM   #54
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Need Advice....

I need some input/advice here on two fronts:



Initially when I started this project, I wanted to be done by around this time last year. When that didn't happen, we suddenly burned out major-league and had to take a break. Only 5 months later was I able to get started again, doing tests, etc, but the wind just wasn't at our backs like when we first began.


We've slowly recovered but I've throttled us a bit to prevent the same kind of burn-out. Regardless, since getting hired help we're making very rapid progress. Having given up on last year, I was hoping still to go full time this year, sell everything... but the closer we get to Fall, the harder that looks- not on the bus front, but on the home front. This is my first house, I've never sold before. I don't know what that looks like so I don't know what to expect. I just don't want to push this back another year if possible... How do you move that.... mountain, of selling and getting out fast?



More generally it would be helpful to get some input from those who went from home ownership to full timing, or delayed their planned finish by a year, or downsized like this. I'm less looking for advice (the conclusion) as I am experiences (the progress that lead to it).



  1. From those who finished a conversion to live in: How was the end?
  2. And how did you _know_ it was the end? When? Was it intentional or natural?
  3. How do you manage delays? Last year I said "that's it for this year", since winter seems like an awful time to sell. Is it realistic if everything else falls in line to delay a few months and pull out as the temperatures drop?

Second, and more pressing but less important- a few months back I set aside some vacation time in the middle of July (15-19), the intent was the take the bus up to the White Mountains for a few days in order to work out the bugs in the build for full-time living.



That time is approaching. But I have no plumbing- no shower, toilet, or sink. The kitchen is framed out, and I can probably get it finished with the sink in by that time, but for the shower I need a custom stainless or copper pan, and either way it would really be pushing it trying to get any sort of grey water system in by then, as I'd need all that infrastructure.



So, should I maintain course/the plan for mid July, or move to mid August, give myself another month? Some key questions on my mind around this:

  1. How have members here determined their rigs road worthiness? I was thinking of having an International dealer look it over. I want something to put me at ease here.
  2. Tires are a particular concern. I took them out two weeks ago for a good 30-50 miles after being moved minimally for 2 years and the tread is still there, but don't know how to judge.
  3. The shower in particular is going to be hard to finish. Any ideas for something both temporary and indoors?
Any input appreciated.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:00 PM   #55
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Just keep on keeping on.I tested my bus's road worthiness on the flawless ride home 3k miles. The tires appear to be semi new, check your date codes on them to see how old they are. If they aren't chunking and dry, and have tread, and maintained air pressure, they should be fine. Haven't gotten to my shower yet either. It'll be a task plumbing it all, so allot enough time. Good luck. I have a tentative completion for mine on Sept.1
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:10 PM   #56
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After 6 months of work, We thought we would be done in a month. Sold and gave away what we could. Got a storage unit for the rest. Cleaned the house and did some light touch up work, paint, etc. Moved into MIL house for what was supposed to be a month. Well, a month turned into 7... house sold about 3 months after moving. We got close enough to done and unloaded our storage unit and moved to my mom's yard. Got rid of a few more things and stored the rest in my dad's shop attic. Spent three weeks there and set a hard time departure date. The day we left it was raining. The tow lights decided I'd wired them wrong and quit working. Pulled over for 3 hours, in the rain, fixing them, 4 miles from my mom's house. Drove almost to GA that night before sleeping in a Loves truck stop on our very first night on the road.

Granted, we had finished plumbing, electric, solar, and all else by then. I don't know if any of this helps, but it was frantic and manic and crazy.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:08 AM   #57
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We were in a similar position, having to sell our home without ever having done it before. Preparing a home to sell while building out the bus can be a crazy-making endeavor. We "finished" our bus build (it'll always need tweaks, I suspect) before prepping our home to sell. The home sale, itself, was smooth and easy. Getting rid of 17 years of stuff was the hardest part. We got a storage unit for the sentimental stuff we're keeping when we settle into a new home eventually. We priced our home to sell, so it was only on the market for 3 days. We were not looking to squeeze out every last penny's worth....we were willing to sacrifice some for a quick sale and to get on with our lives. Now that it's over, it seems like a long-ago dream. I almost never think of that house, or the stress leading up to the sale. Talk to your realtor about selling season.....FWIW our realtor told us she sells homes in every season (less competition in winter, but less demand also). A good realtor should be able to make the home sale go smoothly....that's what they get their commission for!

We pushed our timing back from fall to spring, just because of the realities of finishing everything up on the bus then the home. We couldn't have moved into the bus if I didn't have my shop available for bus projects. You need functioning utilities (plumbing, cooking and whatnot) before you try to live in it for any time....you might need to compromise on the custom shower pan, for instance, if that's going to hold up the project too much. Our shower looks nice, not as bad as an RV but not a spa shower either. The shower pan is a utility sink that's trimmed out in cedar, and the surround is from an RV supply house. It has one drain, in the center, and we squeegee the water into the drain if it's a problem. We don't use the shower every day, but it's ready to use when we need it (we don't store a clothes hamper or anything in it). I don't know what your toilet plans are, but our Nature's Head is working out better than anticipated and it was dead simple to install.

I'd push back the July trip by a month if it will allow you to get the plumbing and kitchen done. Finish work (even kitchen stuff), trim work, gadgets and accessories can probably be done while you're living there.

We hired a mobile diesel mechanic from a Craigslist ad to give me a tutorial on fluids change and to kinda look over the bus. Just so happens he works at the International factory a couple towns over, so he knew his way around the engine. We got a new set of tires, as ours were about 6 years old. We could have waited a bit, I suspect, but we figured why not just get it done. I also sent some oil and trans fluid samples off to Blackstone Labs to have their condition assessed. It's cheap enough at like $30/sample and offered some assurance.

I don't really know the particulars of your situation, but since we're retired we can be mobile (not have to park in a relative's yard or anything) and drift around as we please. We've only been at it since May 1, but we LOVE this freedom. We don't miss anything about the house and our bus is set up perfectly for us. We're not lacking any of the comforts we had in our sticks-and-bricks either. We're living in 1/10 the space and we're not suffering for it.
I'm sure I'll think of more, but if you need to pick our brains feel free to ask.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:55 AM   #58
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Location: Huntington beach
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How about soldering the resistor inline and putting a piece of shrink on it
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:10 PM   #59
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Location: Windham NH
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
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Engine: International T444e
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Just keep on keeping on.



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The tires appear to be semi new, check your date codes on them to see how old they are. If they aren't chunking and dry, and have tread, and maintained air pressure, they should be fine.
Good advice, thanks.



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I have a tentative completion for mine on Sept.1
We might be quite close then as well.




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After 6 months of work, We thought we would be done in a month. Sold and gave away what we could. Got a storage unit for the rest. Cleaned the house and did some light touch up work, paint, etc. Moved into MIL house for what was supposed to be a month. Well, a month turned into 7... house sold about 3 months after moving.
What kept you the remaining 4?



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Originally Posted by Ninjakitty View Post
Granted, we had finished plumbing, electric, solar, and all else by then. I don't know if any of this helps, but it was frantic and manic and crazy.
By when in that timeline?




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Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
We were in a similar position, having to sell our home without ever having done it before. Preparing a home to sell while building out the bus can be a crazy-making endeavor.
Tell me about it...



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We "finished" our bus build (it'll always need tweaks, I suspect) before prepping our home to sell. The home sale, itself, was smooth and easy. Getting rid of 17 years of stuff was the hardest part. We got a storage unit for the sentimental stuff we're keeping when we settle into a new home eventually.
I didn't envision a storage unit at all. I envisioned a dumpster, maybe leaving some things at the parents', but not much if anything.




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Talk to your realtor about selling season.....FWIW our realtor told us she sells homes in every season (less competition in winter, but less demand also). A good realtor should be able to make the home sale go smoothly....that's what they get their commission for!
This is part of the problem for me. I'm hoping to skip the realtor and talk to the builder that's knocking out McMansions left and right on my street.




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We pushed our timing back from fall to spring, just because of the realities of finishing everything up on the bus then the home. We couldn't have moved into the bus if I didn't have my shop available for bus projects. You need functioning utilities (plumbing, cooking and whatnot) before you try to live in it for any time....you might need to compromise on the custom shower pan, for instance, if that's going to hold up the project too much.
There's two things here: pushing the date back (looks like you aimed to skip winter like me), and sacrifice to keep the date.



I think the custom pan is one of those things I don't want to sacrifice. We have to walk through our shower to get to the kitchen- its meant to be a hallway when not in use. Temp solutions may work for a trip, but not a full time living scenario. I have a fiberglass pan- I've ruled it out as I just don't have confidence in it holding up to foot traffic through the kitchen. This is up there at the top in terms of difficulty to implement, but also up there in necessity, unfortunately. Otherwise, it would be low hanging fruit like you suggest.



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I don't know what your toilet plans are, but our Nature's Head is working out better than anticipated and it was dead simple to install.
Please, elaborate however you can.... A (Natures Head) is my current plan, but I might install a black tank to hedge my bets. Can I go a week without dealing with solid waste? If so, its a no-brainer and I might just not bother


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I'd push back the July trip by a month if it will allow you to get the plumbing and kitchen done. Finish work (even kitchen stuff), trim work, gadgets and accessories can probably be done while you're living there.



I could probably get the PEX/freshwater / pump / etc installed this weekend. The problem is the grey tanks that I don't have, + other drainage, + that shower pan and the shower walls. Hanging the tanks, etc. Its possible I could get it done, but I'd be pushing it for sure, even with July.



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We hired a mobile diesel mechanic from a Craigslist ad to give me a tutorial on fluids change and to kinda look over the bus. Just so happens he works at the International factory a couple towns over, so he knew his way around the engine. We got a new set of tires, as ours were about 6 years old. We could have waited a bit, I suspect, but we figured why not just get it done. I also sent some oil and trans fluid samples off to Blackstone Labs to have their condition assessed. It's cheap enough at like $30/sample and offered some assurance.

This is some good advice.



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I don't really know the particulars of your situation, but since we're retired we can be mobile (not have to park in a relative's yard or anything) and drift around as we please.
This is the other thing I'm juggling- where to park. I'm hoping I could work something out with a local farm or land or something, but no idea how to approach that. RV parks are another option, but.... we have chickens. I've been hoping to park somewhere I could keep them (coop on a trailer), that may just not be realistic.


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Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
We don't miss anything about the house and our bus is set up perfectly for us. We're not lacking any of the comforts we had in our sticks-and-bricks either. We're living in 1/10 the space and we're not suffering for it.
This is encouraging. I haven't had second thoughts until now- when its looking like time to commit, time to sell. Is this really a good idea, now? Are we setup for success, or failure? I keep coming back to these questions, not reaching an answer.



Thanks for the feedback thus far. Its really about shooting for this year versus next.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:04 PM   #60
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We'd considered selling directly to a flipper, too, who'd been doing McMansions in our neighborhood but we would have gotten significantly less money, even factoring in the realtor's commission. Talk to the developer to get a feel for the market and to gauge their interest, but also talk to a realtor. See what the numbers look like.


As far as the shower pan, would it be possible to sink a fiberglass pan an inch or so and put a removable (slatted teak maybe?) floor panel to bridge the shower area? Not trying to talk you out of your custom shower pan, just throwing out ideas.


The plumbing went in pretty quick for us, a couple days I think. Even hanging the gray tank was pretty simple. "Good enough for now" has turned into "eh....it seems to work?". Might be one of those projects that needs addressing at some point, but its working.

You'll need to line up a place to park this bus if you're not planning on being mobile, esp. if you intend to keep the hens.
The logistics are completely overwhelming, I totally understand that. I'd make a couple punch lists of things to address (one for the bus, one for the home) and start knocking things off. It'll help clarify your path forward and keep your head out of the clouds and allow you to see what's realistic and what's pie-in-the-sky.
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